Chicken is a food that is easy to buy, prepare and cook in a variety of meals. Therefore, in most households, people always store a bit of raw, frozen chicken in case of need. There is only one big concern you should know when storing raw chicken: the meat can be harmful to your health if you freeze it improperly.
Thus, you must understand the right way to freeze every chicken dish, its shelf life, and some safety tips. Let’s start with the first question: Can you freeze chicken soup, and, if available, in what conditions is allowed.
Can You Freeze Chicken Soup?
Fortunately, you CAN! In most cases, if you know how to store chicken well, the meat won’t turn bad, and neither will the soup! However, that is the case when you know how to cook and store it properly. Let’s briefly discover what the “right method” to freeze chicken soup is!
Among various chicken recipes, chicken soup is the most commonly cooked one. Why? It is simple, easy to prepare, and conduct. Who doesn’t love warm, comforting, tasty, sweet soup with healthful, lean chicken, especially in gloomy times like now, right? We understand your point because we do love chicken soup, too!
There are times you cook a lot of soup and have to freeze it for later use. So, it’s time to learn the “DOS” and “DON’TS” when freezing soups!
First, there are some starches you must avoid to freeze with chicken soup: pasta, rice, cubed potatoes. These three will soak up all the water in the soup, making the dish dry and soggy when reheated.
If the soup contains dairy products like milk, cheese, or butter, you should not freeze it. They will make your dish taste grainy.
Can You Freeze Homemade Chicken Soup?
As mentioned above, you should avoid freezing starches with chicken soup, and noodle is starch – so, you know the answer, right? You CAN, but you SHOULD NOT!
The longer you keep noodles with the refrigerated soup, the more “juice” the noodle soaks from the soup. Gradually, the noodle strips will be too soggy, and the taste will be awful. So, the best way is not to freeze it.
If you don’t have another way to store chicken noodle soup, here is the suggestion: separate the noodles with the bone broth, and store them in two different containers.
Mistakes When Freezing Chicken Soup
Rushing To Freezing The Soup When It Has Not Yet To Completely Cool.
This is the most common mistake that even experienced chefs make. So, don’t worry if you also get it.
Let us clarify: when you immediately transfer the hot boiling soup into the freezer, the temperature of the soup’s outer layer will drop suddenly. At the same time, the inside part remains hot. Such a temperature gap will provide the ideal environment for bacteria to breed.
Overfilling Or Underfilling The Container
You should not overfill the container. We will apply some science to explain here: when liquid solidifies, its volume enlarges. That being said, if you overfill the container when the soup freezes, there is no space for the frozen soup to stretch, causing the container to break.
Do not underfill the containers as well. The more space you leave inside the container, the faster freezer-burn occurs.
Overcooking Vegetables In The Soup You’re Freezing
Many new cooks tend to make their dishes too “carefully,” and sometimes they overcook it. Everyone wants to ensure that the food is fully cooked to avoid bacteria, but sometimes, such carefulness turns into a mistake!
For example, when they overcook the vegetables in the first cook, these foods are already too mushy. Then, when they reheat, the food will be even more soggy and untasty.
How Long Does Chicken Soup Last In The Fridge?
How long can you keep chicken soup in the fridge? Well, in the standard 40 Fahrenheit degrees (4 Celsius degrees) temperature of the fridge, chicken soup can last for 3 to 4 days. During this period, the soup still tastes great after reheating.
How long can chicken soup sit out at room temperature? Please note that, before reheating, you must take it out to defrost, but the left-out time cannot last over 2 hours. After 2 hours of letting it out, the soup enters the “danger zone.” Bacterias begin multiplying dramatically.
To expand the chicken soup shelf life, you can add a pinch of lemon juice or zest or separate the broth and the starches (if had).
How To Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?
- Pick a Portion Size
The first stage is to select a suitable portion size for storing the frozen soup. Why should you do this step? There are two reasons: you must not overfill or underfill the container – we have already explained the reasons.
Additionally, dividing the soup into smaller portions helps the soup freeze faster! You can also defrost the food and prepare meals quicker with smaller portions.
- Choose The Right Soup Container
There are many soup container sizes and types for you to choose to have the best freezing effect. For example, there are Ziploc containers that you just need to soak into warm waters; the food will slowly defrost and pop out of the bag for you to reheat.
There are also gallon or quart-sized plastic bags that will make the frozen soup flatten. You can maximize the space of storage with this type of container!
- Cool The Soup
The next step is to cool the soup. Please keep in mind: wait for the soup to completely cool down to start freezing.
After pouring soup into containers, place them into the fridge, and set the temperature to the freezing range – 0 Celsius degrees (32 Fahrenheit degrees).
- Avoid Freezer Burn
Freezer burn is one of the common problems that make the chicken soup taste bad. Yet, it is easy to avoid!
Ice crystals are responsible for freezer burn. Therefore, to avoid freezer burn, you must prevent the formation of crystals during cooking.
Here are two methods to avoid crystals when heating: Reduce the air exposure as much as possible first since the crystals are made by exposure to air. Next, cover the soup with plastic wraps or airtight lids.
- Label, Label, Label
To help you remember the expiry date of the chicken soup, we advise you to label them carefully. Note down the ingredients, the cooking and freezing date, and when is the expiry date.
How To Store Chicken Soup (With Noodles) In The Fridge?
Storing the chicken noodle soup is similar to how you store other types of leftover soup. Do not forget to wait until it cools down completely, and store it at the proper temperature in the fridge.
To add in, divide the soup into smaller portions and choose a suitable container type to place the soup. Remember that the containers must be airtight as well.
How To Reheat Frozen Chicken Soup?
We will guide you briefly on how to reheat the chicken soup. Ideally, you should defrost it before reheating.
Step 1: Thaw Chicken Soup
How to thaw frozen chicken soup quickly? It’s simple: take the containers out of the freezer and place them in the fridge where the temperature is higher. If you have already placed the food in the fridge, turn up the heat to defrost the frozen soup.
It will take 1 – 2 days to thaw the soup completely. Thus, plan your meal carefully so that this waiting time won’t break your schedule.
Step 2: Reheating In The Microwave
While waiting for the soup to thaw completely, turn on the microwave. Preheat it to ensure the temperature inside is hot enough to reheat the frozen food. The safe temperature for soup is from 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 Celsius degrees) to above.
When the microwave reaches your demand heat and the soup is defrosted, start reheating! In our experience, 2 or 3 minutes are enough to recook the soup.
How many times can you reheat chicken soup? Well, there is no limit, though. We suggest you avoid reheating it as much as possible and try to finish the dish quickly. Since each time you cook, the water will reduce a bit, and the vegetables, as well as the chicken, will become soggier.
Can you freeze chicken soup? In short, you can, but with mindfulness! Please check the soup temperature and other external conditions like portions, containers, and ingredients carefully before reheating them.
In this post, we also covered the content of “How long does soup last in the fridge?” as well as the method of storing and reheating chicken soup for you.
Are there any other cooking tips you are concerned about? Share with us, and we’ll guide you through!